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electric brewery in europe
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Stuttgarter



Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 53
Location: Stuttgart, Germany


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Crush,

New Year! I'm also starting my build of Kal's Electric Brewery here in Germany. SWMBO thinks I'm crazy as this is the land of great beer at cheap prices (beer is considered a food here). I too run into the 'we won't ship overseas' problem. I can get most of the electronics here locally but the price difference is huge compared to the North American price (at least double the price). I'm using a package forwarding service similar to what Kal is recommending. Basically the forwarding service holds all my incoming packages until I tell them to send (saves on postage). Sometimes I get lucky and don't have to pay customs duties. I can't purchase/send the Blichmann kettles as they are too large/expensive to send. Have you found a substitute for the kettles?

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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stuttgarter wrote:
Crush,

New Year! I'm also starting my build of Kal's Electric Brewery here in Germany. SWMBO thinks I'm crazy as this is the land of great beer at cheap prices (beer is considered a food here). I too run into the 'we won't ship overseas' problem. I can get most of the electronics here locally but the price difference is huge compared to the North American price (at least double the price). I'm using a package forwarding service similar to what Kal is recommending. Basically the forwarding service holds all my incoming packages until I tell them to send (saves on postage). Sometimes I get lucky and don't have to pay customs duties. I can't purchase/send the Blichmann kettles as they are too large/expensive to send. Have you found a substitute for the kettles?


Happy new year to you Stuttarter!

After the problems with McMaster-Carr, I also looked into mail forwarding. The problem for me is that I don't need the provider to ship internationally - I already have a carrier in New Jersey that provides shipping from NJ to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. They offer air and sea services, with sea being most economical. I shipped my current 20 gal kettle with them, and also 18 corny kegs (I have a 12 tap kegerator), and will be using them again to get 2 more kettles and all the other heavy/large parts for the new brewery.

So you see I didn't buy my kettle locally. Which I'm pleased about, I think the Blichmann kettles are awesome, and even though some say overpriced - they're very competitive with anything I could find locally, and they are purpose-built for brewing.

Good luck in your hunt! Maybe you'll find a freight service to Germany?
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Münsterjeger



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Vestfold, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy new years!

I think I have a problem.
Just tried to boil in my kettle. Takes a LONG time to get the water to boil, if I can call it a boil at all.
I'm not an electritian...

My element is told to be 3kW.
I run it on 16 amps 220V.

After a long time waiting, i thougt i would introduce another waterboiler, 2,2kW
Of course, now i espect the breaker to cut the power; 5,2kW / 220V = 23 amps

Well, power still on..
I ohmed the element, giving me 20,6 ohms.
Now, what can this tell me?

I am really frustrated right now....
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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Münsterjeger, How much water are you boiling?

You're right that adding another heating element will trip your 16A breaker.

V = IR. P = VI

At 230v, I = V/R = 230/20.6 = 11,1A, giving a power rating of 230x11.1 = 2.5kW. But resistance of metals changes with temperature, so you'd almost have to measure the resistance when it's hot to get an accurate measurement. But this is within the ball park of 3kW so, let's assume it's correct.

Just for reference, I have a ceramic hob plate rated at 2.2kW and that really struggled to maintain a full 5 gal boil, and took hours to bring 10-15 liters of water to boil.

The amount of energy required to raise 1 liter of water by 1 deg C is 4186 joules - that's the specific heat capacity of water. So, to bring 20 liters of 20 deg C water to boil, requires 4186 x (100-20) x 20 = 6700kJ. Since your heater is 3kW, then the water would reach boiling point in 6700/3 = 2233s, or 37 mins. But this does not account for losses through the top of the kettle and through the wall of the kettle, which can be significant, since the steel is an efficient conductor.

You might try adding some insulation to the kettle to reduce losses, and keep the lid on. I used to wrap a towel around my old 6 gal pot and plugged the hole in the plastic lid with some foam, and this noticibly reduced the time to heat the water, and allow me to dial down the heat required to maintain the boil. There's a product called Reflectix, which is like bubble wrap sandwiched between two sheets of metal foil, which I've heard provides good insulation. I'm considering adding this to my system (I haven't checked cost/availability/shipping yet). Although 5.5kW should be plenty, making it more efficient can only be a good thing.

Good luck, I hope you manage to get your boil time to something bearable and less frustrating! If not, just set up the PID to sounds the alarm, and feel free to find something else to do, like a mid-brewday nap or a relaxing glass of your favourite brew. The alarm will hopefully wake you up when the water is ready! Smile
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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reflectix research didn't take long! Amazon sell this, ca. $50 for 24" and $100 for 48" - both 50 feet.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009XCJA2?ie=UTF8&tag=theelectricbrewery-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0009XCJA2

Moderator not: Link modified by adding "&tag=theelectricbrewery-20" to support the site, hover over link for price)

The 20 gal boilermaker kettles are 21" high, so the 24" roll width is sufficient. Kettle diameter is 18", so 3.141x18 = ca. 57" is needed. A 50 foot roll would be plenty for 3 kettles. (The roll size is also fine for the 30gal kettles, they are 23" high. See http://www.blichmannengineering.com/boilermaker/boilermaker.html)

Searching the net for "reflectix brewing" brings up plenty on the subject.
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Münsterjeger



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Vestfold, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, thank you.
Were afraid the element had failed.
I see my element is a bit stronger than the Speidel element (Witch I'm used to) so i should achieve vigirous boil. Smile
Patience.......
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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Münsterjeger wrote:
Ah, thank you.
Were afraid the element had failed.
I see my element is a bit stronger than the Speidel element (Witch I'm used to) so i should achieve vigirous boil. Smile
Patience.......


How did it go Munsterjeger, did you get it to boil eventually? It would be interesting to know the quantity of water and time to reach boil so that we can compare notes - hopefully there is a clear trend with power vs. time.

Kal, with over 2 years of experience with your brewery, can you say how long it takes to bring a quantity of water to boil?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10195
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crush wrote:
Kal, with over 2 years of experience with your brewery, can you say how long it takes to bring a quantity of water to boil?
I've never really timed it. If I had to guess I'd say about 30 mins to take ~15 gallons from 140F to boiling.

Kal

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Münsterjeger



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Vestfold, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crush wrote:
How did it go Munsterjeger, did you get it to boil eventually? It would be interesting to know the quantity of water and time to reach boil so that we can compare notes - hopefully there is a clear trend with power vs. time.


I use about one hour from 10 celsius to boil.
But the boil is not that aggressive that I would wish for.
I will isolate the kettle bottom and see if that helps.
If I knew this I would have chosen a 4kW element. But I wanted to brew on a 16 amp circuit. Oh,well....

A lid really helps on the time to get to boil, and helps having a aggressive boil. Though there shouldn't be a lid when boiling wort...
1kW extra would really make the difference I think.
Is it able to wire a 1kW water boiler element in parallel?

EDIT: I'm boiling 4 gallons... Smile
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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Münsterjeger wrote:
crush wrote:
How did it go Munsterjeger, did you get it to boil eventually? It would be interesting to know the quantity of water and time to reach boil so that we can compare notes - hopefully there is a clear trend with power vs. time.


I use about one hour from 10 celsius to boil.
But the boil is not that aggressive that I would wish for.
I will isolate the kettle bottom and see if that helps.
If I knew this I would have chosen a 4kW element. But I wanted to brew on a 16 amp circuit. Oh,well....

A lid really helps on the time to get to boil, and helps having a aggressive boil. Though there shouldn't be a lid when boiling wort...
1kW extra would really make the difference I think.
Is it able to wire a 1kW water boiler element in parallel?

EDIT: I'm boiling 4 gallons... Smile


Ouch, that's almost a bit painful! Razz On the other hand, 15 gal in 30 mins that is serious heating!

I'm curious how big the difference is - with the different boil volumes, initial water temperatures and heating power, it's hard to see how your's and Kal's times compare. In rough figures, your element is half the power, and you are heating the water through 90 deg C rather than 40 (60C=140F), but you're heating ca 1/3 the volume. That means your time should be 2*9/4*1/3 = 1.5 times longer than Kals. You say it takes an hour, which is 2x longer - 1.5x longer would be 45 mins. Your time to reach boil is taking 15mins longer than we would expect from these rough figures (which doesn't seem too bad!) Of course, all these are back-of-an-envelope calculations, since these figures are estimates rather than measured, but we are within reasonable range. Are you using a BoilerMaker? Maybe the shape or kettle material might explain the reduced effect here.

Just like putting the lid on, insulation around the kettle will definitely help. I'm going to buy the reflectix from Amazon. Not the most aesthetically pleasing look for these kettles, but it's green. Wink I just double-checked my circuit at home - it's 2x6mm2 wire 25A fuse. 2x6mm2 is good for up to 32A. The fuse is slow acting, and will allow at least 32A for up to an hour, so running 24A for 30mins at a time will be no problem, so I'll go for the 5.5kW elements. (i'll buy a 4.5kW to have in reserve, just in case!)
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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
crush wrote:
Kal, with over 2 years of experience with your brewery, can you say how long it takes to bring a quantity of water to boil?
I've never really timed it. If I had to guess I'd say about 30 mins to take ~15 gallons from 140F to boiling.

Kal

That's seriously impressive! I can't say I've got heating like that with my 210kBTU (65kW) propane burner..although I don't have it on full gas as this eats up the propane big time! Really looking forward to going electric.
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mschippr



Joined: 09 Feb 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Australia


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, You can order from Mc-master Carr and other not international shipping businesses but you will need to use a US mail forwarding service like Bongo International http://www.bongous.com/.

I ordered some parts from Mcmaster last week and had them shipped via this service. I'm getting a whole bunch of gear sent there and consolidated for shipment to Australia next week.

You will need to make sure what your import rules are. for example any items under $1000AU dont incur any duty's or taxes, But that is for Australia only. Best you give your customs service a call and they should be able to help you.

Hope that helps you buy your gear.

Thanks.
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Münsterjeger



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Vestfold, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is almost coming to an end now!

Yesterday, I got all my switches, pilot lights and relays from Electrical Parts on Ebay.
Though they sent me 6 wrong switches, I thinnk they were nice after all. Easyer to opperate.
I will post a pic when all is mounted.

Yesterday I cut holes in the door, and painted it black matte.
Heres a pic:
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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! those cuts look very tidy! Did you use a jigsaw?
What are the two square cutouts on the right edge?

Will "couchback brewery" be located in your lounge, or perhaps your sofa is looking for a career in products modelling?

You say it's coming to an end, does that mean you're done with your kettles also?

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Münsterjeger



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Vestfold, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you! Worked really slowly when cutting out squares.

The holes to the right is where the locks are.
I am using a bit bigger cabinet than Kal.


This afternoon has ben spent wiring and mounting some components.
The PIDs and timer has ben tested to work..! Yeay!
Finally some cool bright LED lighting in the door. Really cool!






Also mounted some components to the back plate.

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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If my panel turns out as nice as your's then I'll be happy. I'm also using a larger enclosure, 16x20" I think. What's yours?

The LED drivers, are you using those to power the variable DC converters and then the panel meters?
I considered using those after seeing them on ebay for something like a few dollars a piece, but AFAIK, LED drivers are constant-current devices, rather than constant voltage, so I didn't think these would work. Also, I think they work by pulse-switching, so they don't actually totally isolate the output side from the input, which will cause problems with the way the voltmeter and ammeter are wired with DC group and one AC side wired together. But I'm not an electronics guy, so could be way off. Have you tried them?

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Münsterjeger



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Vestfold, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, tested them a few weeks ago. Just briefly, but worked great!
So I dont mind using them. 4 $ incl. shipping is a steal..!

I think my cabinet was 55*55 cm
I used Kals measurements to place the components though.. I was kind of wanting a inline pH meter for the mash in my cabinet door, but havent founf annything yet. But I do have room for a couple of meters.
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Münsterjeger



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Vestfold, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tested a few of the components.
Really nice!



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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very, very nice! I don't feel like building mine now, I can just come over and use yours, ok? Very Happy

Did you ever find out if the Sestos PIDs will do temp in Fahrenheit? I've got three of them here, but not tried wiring them up yet. So much brewing text is in F that it's more natural for me to use that, or maybe I'll just make a nice laminate with all the temperatures in C and F.

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10195
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work! Glad to see it's all working!

Kal

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